So you just woke up 10 minutes before your Zoom meeting and you’re looking for an effortless yet presentable hair look. Enter the messy bun – the timeless classic hairstyle for the girl who’s booked and busy that also doubles as the perfect work from home hairstyle.
What began as a quick-fix hairstyle for days when your alarm clock went off late has also become a high-fashion staple that decorates the heads of A-list celebrities at red carpet events. A cursory Google search yields hundreds of thousands of Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube tutorials on how to achieve this seemingly effortless, yet intricate look. Celebrity hairstylist Ursula Stephen described the messy bun as “one of those Coachella kind of things. Kind of like no-makeup makeup.”
From top-knots to low buns and everything in between, here are our favorite messy bun looks to add to your remote work repertoire.
25 messy bun hairstyles
The Classic Top-Knot Bun
Actress and singer Zendaya donned this unforgettable messy top-knot bun at the 2016 Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Sports Awards. The ‘Euphoria’ star’s ethereal baby hairs decorate the perimeter of her hairline like a halo. The most iconic bun looks are the ones that make you wonder if they took 10 minutes or 10 hours to craft.
The Face Framing Bun
Singer Ciara looked immaculate sporting this wavy messy bun look at the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscars Party. The ‘Level Up’ singer’s face-framing waves contour her prominent cheekbones. We love her cushiony messy bun for sweater weather days when you’re cozied up by the fireplace with a cup of Matcha. For extra volume, clip in our seamless hair extensions when recreating this look.
The Royal & Relatable Bun
Meghan Markle’s messy low buns captured several headlines with many fawning over her relatable yet royal hair looks. Meghan’s signature messy bun compliments her everyday no-makeup makeup beauty. We love her carefully parted side swept swoosh as it highlights her beautiful side profile.
The Festive Bun
Live out the festival season we all missed out on this year with this 10-minute braided messy bun. This Bohemian-inspired hair look gives ‘business in the front, party in the back’ vibes. The carefully pulled out flyaways and face-framing strands are the cherry on top of this messy-chic top-knot bun.
The Pineapple Bun
We are obsessed with this curly pineapple messy bun look. This look is perfect for girls with Type 3A-3C hair on-the go. We especially love model Brianna Gabriela’s dark roots contrasting against her cool-toned coily locks and fluffy bangs.
The Braided Bun
One of the many things we love about braided protective styles is their versatility. These gorgeous Senagalese twists look equally as snatched pulled up into a messy bun as they do when they’re long and running down your back.
The Bold Bun
Why play it safe when you can transform your hair into a work of art? This bold bun look donned by actress Justine Skye is perfect for those who want to rock high fashion editorial hair looks. We love everything from the thick single part leave out to the perfectly laid baby hairs in this messy bun look.
The Wispy Bun
Actress Emma Stone looks absolutely whimsical in this wispy messy bun. We are absolutely living for the tiny little pieces of hair decorating the back of Emma’s neck and how intricately pulled and crafted her bun lay upon her head.
The Barrette Bun
Dress up your messy bun by adorning it with barrettes. We love the barrette bun for lazy days when you throw your hair up and want to make it look like you tried harder than you actually did. Slip on Luxy’s Tortoiseshell Hair Clips to add that extra flare to your messy bun.
The Half Up, Half Down Bun
Actress Leigh-Ann Pinnock absolutely slayed the half up, half down messy bun at this year’s MTV European Music Awards. Not only does the half up, half down messy bun look amazing on ladies with locks, but it also looks stunning with wavy, curly and straight hairstyles.
The Highlight Bun
If you have highlighted or balayage hair, this messy low bun is the perfect way to showcase the nuances of your hair tones. The messy bun melts all of the chocolate tones into the caramelized tones on this model’s hair.
The Bridal Bun
The bridal bun is equal parts soft, refined and messy. This bride to-be’s soft waves billow like an ocean tide.
The Space Bun
Why have one messy bun when you can have two? These Princess Leia-inspired buns are the ultimate dynamic duo of the messy bun look. In her ‘Hair in A Hurry’ Instagram post, celebrity hair stylist Jen Atkin explains how you can achieve this look with just one hair tie and a few french hairpins.
The Subtle Bun
For days when you want to keep your top knot bun looking a little bit refined with a hint of messy, the subtle messy bun is exactly what you need. Actress Shay Mitchell looked absolutely breathtaking at the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscars Party in this strapless Labourjoisie gown and subtle top knot bun.
The Vertical Double Bun
We love this sultry vertically stacked double messy bun Actress Katherine Langford sported to the 2018 Teen Choice Awards. If you squint, you can see the tiny bow placed in the top bun which compliments her classic lace dress. This edgy yet simple look was crafted by celebrity hairstylist Jenny Cho.
The Bantu Bun
Model Chloe Hall’s Bantu Knot buns decorate her head like little crowns. From the blunt cut ends to the loosely twisted knots, to the placement of each individual bun on her head, this is yet another braided protective style we are obsessing over.
The Victorian Bun
We love this Victorian messy bun look actress Lily Collins is sporting. This minimalistic up-do makes us feel like we woke up in the 19th century. Those delicate little flyaways are the stars of this look for us.
The Chignon Bun
The chignon is a carefully knotted bun that elicits class and femininity. Celebrity hair stylist Marc Mena created this elegant yet effortless look for actress Chrissie Metz for the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards.
The Bang Bun
There’s something about bangs with messy buns that give us retro 1960’s chic vibes. Actress Bryce Dallas Howard looks ravishing with her warm red locks and this tiny yet mighty messy bun.
The Baby Hair Bun
Rapper Saweetie came to serve at the 2020 Grammy Awards. We love when baby hairs not only accessorize, but share the spotlight with a messy bun. We love the abstract shape of this messy bun and the rainbow-coloured bobby pins that are perfectly situated at the back of her head.
The Ponytail Bun
On days when you can’t decide if you want to sport a messy bun or a ponytail, why not choose both? Scarlett Johansson’s golden tresses are absolutely to die for in this ponytail bun look at the 2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards. The award for most outstanding ponytail bun goes to ScarJo.
The Kinky Bun
Actress Lupita N’Yongo’s beautiful tightly coiled Type 4C kinky hair looks absolutely breathtaking in this look. The texture, volume and shape of this messy bun scream haute couture.
The Cascading Curly Bun
The R&B sister sensations Chloe x Halle rocked this stunning set of cascading curly braided messy buns at the 2020 People’s Choice Awards.
The Bow Tie Bun
This bow-tie bun is perfect for those with thick hair who want to throw some fun in their messy bun. Need some clip in hair extensions to zhuzh up this look? Clip in our Volumizer Wefts upside down for an extra voluminous bow tie bun.
The Colorful Bun
Pastel colors look especially accentuated in messy top-knot buns. Model Hailey Bieber looked pretty in pastel pink in this red carpet look.
Written by Ashley Inkumsah